This story has been updated to note the price increase of the Lincoln Navigator’s most direct competitor, the Cadillac Escalade
It helped launch an entirely new market segment and introduced the concept of “bling” to the auto industry, but in recent years, the once-prized Lincoln Navigator has become little more than an after-thought in the luxury car market.
Now, as it sets out to rebuild its struggling Lincoln brand, parent Ford Motor Co. aims to breathe new life into the big Navigator with the most significant update to the full-size luxury sport-utility vehicle in five years. But a sneak peek at the 2015 Navigator raises questions about whether the planned changes go far enough at a time when the big Lincoln’s most direct competitor, the Cadillac Escalade, is getting a far more extensive makeover.
The Navigator originally debuted 17 years ago and “helped define the full-size luxury segment,” proclaimed Andrew Frick, Lincoln’s marketing manager, during a media background session on the 2015 SUV – which will be formally unveiled at the Chicago Motor Show next month. The update, he added, “will bolster” a product that had lost a significant amount of ground in recent years as it grew old and faced more competition from players as diverse as Caddy’s Escalade, the Infiniti QX80, the Mercedes-Benz GL and Lexus LX570.